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Two plead guilty to felony drug sales

Two individuals pleaded guilty to felony drug charges from different cases on Friday in Mower County District Court.

Maria Ann Sanchez

Maria Ann Sanchez, 27, of Austin pleaded guilty to felony second-degree drugs – possess 25 grams or more cocaine of methamphetamine as part of a plea agreement.

Maria Ann Sanchez, 27

The charge was reduced from felony first-degree drugs – possess with intent to sell 17 grams or more of methamphetamine – as part of the agreement.

Court Documents state law enforcement executed a narcotics search warrant on the morning of Jan. 10, 2019, on a residence in the 800 block of Ninth Street Southeast, the home of Sanchez and Rogelio Rodriguez-Sanchez. Sanchez was located in an upstairs bedroom and detained.

Police found approximately 40.96 grams of methamphetamine, including 25.88 grams packaged for sale in 3.58-gram bags, $395 in cash and various items of drug paraphernalia in the residence. They also found two small baggies containing 2.91 grams of methamphetamine in Rodriguez-Sanchez’s pocket.

Sanchez told police that Rodriguez-Sanchez usually bought one or two ounces of methamphetamine at a time and that they sold the drugs in smaller units. Rodriguez-Sanchez was also charged in the incident.

A review of Sanchez’s criminal record shows prior convictions for drug possession.

Sanchez will be sentenced on June 18.

Raymond Leonard Sheldon

Raymond Leonard Sheldon, 53

Raymond Leonard Sheldon, 53, of Austin pleaded guilty to felony second-degree drugs – possess 25 grams or more cocaine or methamphetamine – during a plea hearing.

The charge was reduced from felony first-degree drugs – possess 50 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine.

He also pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI – refuse to submit to chemical test of blood or urine as required by search warrant.

Disposition on charges of felony first-degree drugs – sale of 17 grams or more of cocaine of methamphetamine, misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI – under the influence of a controlled substance, misdemeanor driving after revocation and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia have yet to be determined.

Court documents state that a Mower County deputy observed Sheldon driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero at about 11:21 a.m. on Sept. 24. Knowing Sheldon did not have a valid driver’s license, the deputy initiated a traffic stop on Ninth Avenue Southwest in Austin. The deputy noticed Sheldon’s hands were shaking and he was having trouble grasping and retrieving items from his wallet.

The deputy asked Sheldon about drug use, to which Sheldon said it had been “months” since he last used. He then had Sheldon perform four field sobriety tests, all of which he failed. Sheldon was then placed under arrest.

The deputy searched Sheldon’s vehicle and found the following items:

• Two methamphetamine pipes;

• An empty “corner baggy”;

• Two plastic bags containing methamphetamine residue;

• A digital scale;

• Razor blades with methamphetamine residue;

• Unused plastic bags commonly used to package drugs; and

• Approximately 52 grams of methamphetamine.

An additional ½ gram of methamphetamine was found in Sheldon’s wallet at the Mower County Jail.

The deputy obtained a search warrant for a blood or urine sample. Sheldon declined to offer a blood sample, but said he would provide a urine sample. He then said he could not produce the sample, so the deputy gave him water, which Sheldon declined to drink because he was “not thirsty.” Sheldon then told the deputy to “put it down as a refusal” when he failed to provide the urine sample.

A review of Sheldon’s criminal history shows prior convictions for drug possession and assaulting a peace officer.

Sheldon will be sentenced on April 16.